The Alexander Technique is a course offered by Appalachian State University's Hayes School of Music to the students who are interested in improving their performance skills. As they become re-educated in the study of movement they develop an ever increasing awareness of their true potential for freedom and flexibility in all activities whether it be simply walking or playing a complex piano concerto. As the students study the principles of the Alexander Technique they find increasing success in learning to redirect their thinking and their energies towards the process rather than the product.
The principles of the Alexander Technique are based on the discoveries of F.M. Alexander who was an aspiring Australian actor in the late 1800's. He was experiencing great vocal hoarseness as well as voice loss. When medical advisors were unable to give him appropriate solutions he developed his own observational skills and solved his voice problems. He discovered that by becoming aware of his habitual manners of use of his entire mind and body he could make constructive change in all of his activities. A student of the Alexander Technique is encouraged to follow a similar path of self discovery and is often able to rediscover personal freedom and flexibility in all of his/her life endeavors. A good source for further information is Michael Gelb's Body Learning.
The group classes offered each Spring and Fall are one credit courses. They are held once a week and are limited to about eight students in each class. The small group situation offers the students chances for active participation and opportunities for improving their observational skills as they observe fellow students in performance activities of all kinds.
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